Messianic rabbi and religious-right activist Jonathan Cahn has built a career out of publishing books that claim to reveal how current events were supposedly foretold thousands of years ago in the Bible. One key to Cahn’s success is his willingness to misrepresent both biblical stories and contemporary events so that there appear to be correlations where none actually exists, as he did when he spoke at Cornerstone Chapel in Leesburg, Virginia, earlier this month.
During his remarks, Cahn drew on his earlier claims that former President Donald Trump is a modern-day version of the biblical figure Jehu, who in the book of 2 Kings was raised up by God to become king and to slay the evil queen Jezebel who, in Cahn’s telling, represents Hillary Clinton. In Cahn’s current telling, the MAGA insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 was also foretold in 2 Kings, specifically in the passage where Jehu tricked worshipers of Baal into traveling to the city of Samaria, which was the capital of the Kingdom of Israel, and had them all killed.
“I think it would be a safe assumption that Donald Trump is probably not studying the original Hebrew of scripture, but he has been following a template without knowing of Jehu,” Cahn said. “Jehu was a wild man, impulsive, you never knew what he was going to do or say—if they had tweeting back then, I’m sure he would have been tweeting—you never knew, he was wild. He rose to the throne in the time of the nation’s fall from God. He made an alliance with the religious conservatives of the land to get power. He came to power after defeating the nation’s former first lady. And then he entered the capital city with an agenda to drain the swamp.”
“Jehu’s reign was framed by an event in the nation’s capital,” Cahn continued. “He called for an assembly in the capital city. On that day, many of those who supported him laid siege to a building in the capital, a great capital building—it’s actually a national temple. On Jan. 6, President Trump called for an assembly in the capital city. On that day, his supporters laid siege to the nation’s Capitol building. At the end of that week, the Capitol Police announced they had arrested those involved; the number of people they publicly announced was, they said, 80 people. In the biblical account of Jehu’s supporters who stormed the building in the capital, the number in the Bible is given: it was 80 men.”
In 2 Kings, it does say that Jehu stationed 80 men outside the temple in which the Baal worshipers had gathered and then ordered them to slaughter every one. In order for Cahn’s parallel to work, he claims that 80 people were arrested in the week following the Capitol insurrection, which is an entirely meaningless figure given that more than 700 people in total have been charged due to their involvement in the insurrection. The early report of 80 arrests is nothing more than a figure Cahn cherry-picked in an effort to bolster his narrative.
Even more problematic for Cahn is the fact that the slaughter of the Baal worshipers is portrayed in the Bible as a victory for Jehu, whereas the Capitol insurrection has been damaging to Trump and his supporters. Thus, after having built an entire narrative around the idea that Jehu is a biblical model of Trump, Cahn suddenly changed course and claimed that in this particular instance the biblical story of Jehu’s triumphant slaughter of the Baal worshipers represents “the opposite” of what happened in the modern world.
“The significance of that siege in the reign of Jehu in the Bible is it represented a victory for Jehu against the temple of Baal and the forces Baal,” Cahn declared. “But in the modern case, it’s the opposite. It didn’t represent the beginning; it represented the end. It was a victory of the forces of Baal. You see, on that day, a new government was voted into power that endorsed the killing of children—Baal—the ways of immorality—Baal—the encroaching of God’s people—Baal. We are now living in the days of the reign of Baal.”